The Tiny house Blog

How to Make a Small Living Room Look Bigger

Updated on:
May 18, 2024
How to Make a Small Living Room Look Bigger

Image Source: Canva

You've got a small living room and you're wondering how to make it look bigger, right? We've all been there. The trick lies in smart furniture selection, strategic arrangement, and clever use of light and color. But that's just scratching the surface. 

Let's dive deeper into the art of maximizing space and making your living room not only seem larger but also feel more spacious and comfortable. Stay with me, we'll explore these living room design tips together.

Understanding Room Proportions

To make your small living room appear larger, you need to grasp the concept of room proportions first. Understanding this principle is key in making the most of your limited space. It's all about balancing the size, shape, and placement of the various elements in your room.

Think of it as a puzzle. Each piece should fit perfectly, enhancing the overall look without overwhelming the space. You don't want your room cluttered with oversized items or appear empty with undersized ones. The key is to strike a balance.

Pay attention to the scale of your fixtures, wall decorations, floor covering, and window treatments. Their size should be proportionate to the overall room size. For instance, a large wall art may dwarf your room, while a tiny rug may make it feel disjointed.

Then, consider the room's shape. If it's rectangular, break it into two squares for balance. If it's square, position your items diagonally to create a dynamic visual flow.

Lastly, the placement of your elements should guide the eye smoothly around the room. Avoid blocking pathways or windows, which can disrupt the flow and make the room feel smaller. Remember, proportion is power when it comes to maximizing small spaces.

Choosing the Right Furniture

Having understood the significance of room proportions, let's dive into selecting the right furniture, a crucial step that can make or break the spaciousness of your small living room.

Firstly, opt for furniture pieces with a smaller footprint. Bulky, overstuffed pieces can quickly overwhelm a small room and make it feel cramped. Instead, choose sleek, compact items that don't take up too much space.

Next, consider multifunctional furniture. An ottoman that doubles as storage, or a coffee table with built-in drawers, can save space while keeping your living room tidy.

Pay attention to the color of your furniture too. Light-colored furniture can help make a room feel larger and brighter, while dark pieces might make the space feel small and closed in.

Also, consider furniture with raised legs. This can create an illusion of space by allowing light to pass underneath, giving your room a more open feel.

Lastly, don't overcrowd your room with too many pieces of furniture. It's better to have fewer, well-chosen pieces that serve your needs, rather than trying to fit in everything you like.

Strategic Furniture Arrangement

After you've selected the right furniture, it's important to arrange it strategically to maximize your small living room's potential. Start by placing larger pieces, like your sofa or entertainment center, against the wall. This maximizes floor space and creates an open, airy feel.

Consider the flow of traffic in your room. Arrange furniture in a way that allows for easy movement without bumping into items. Think of creating a path through your room that's free from obstructions.

Next, focus on balance. If you've a large piece on one side of the room, counterbalance it with smaller pieces on the other side. This creates visual harmony and keeps the room from feeling lopsided.

Use multi-functional furniture to your advantage. A coffee table with storage or a sofa bed can serve dual purposes, reducing the need for additional items.

Lastly, don't forget about the corners. These often-overlooked spaces can house a tall lamp or a small chair, effectively utilizing every inch of your room.

Optimal Lighting Techniques

While you've been smart with your furniture arrangement, don't underestimate the power of lighting in making your small living room appear larger. The right lighting makes a room feel airy, open and spacious, even if it's on the smaller side.

Start by maximizing natural light. Open up your curtains or blinds during the day to let in as much sunlight as possible. If privacy is a concern, consider light-filtering shades that can keep prying eyes out while still letting in plenty of light.

Next, consider your artificial lighting. Avoid relying on one harsh overhead light. Instead, use multiple light sources throughout the room to create a soft, diffused glow. This could include floor lamps, table lamps, or even wall sconces.

Light color can also play a significant role in the perception of space. Opt for warm light, as it tends to spread more uniformly and creates a more inviting environment.

Lastly, don't forget about accent lighting. This could be a spotlight on a piece of art or a picture light above a favorite photograph. Accent lights not only add an aesthetic touch, but they also draw the eye around the room, giving the illusion of more space.

Use of Mirrors for Expansion

Beyond smart lighting, you can also employ mirrors as a clever trick to visually expand your small living room. Mirrors don't only reflect light, they also create an illusion of depth that can make your room appear larger.

Start by choosing a focal point and angle your mirror towards it, this will give the illusion of depth. Mirrors also reflect both natural and artificial light to make a room brighter during the day and night, bouncing light deep into the room, making it appear larger.

Next, consider the size and placement of your mirrors. Large mirrors, or a group of small mirrors, can make the most impact. Position them across from windows to maximize the amount of light reflected.

Don't be afraid to get creative with your mirror placement. Mirrors aren't just for walls. Placing mirrors on the floor, or using mirrored furniture, can also create depth and reflect light.

Lastly, remember that the frame of your mirror can also contribute to the look and feel of the room. Choose frames that match your overall decor to keep a cohesive look.

Image Source: Canva

Color Schemes for Small Spaces

Choosing the right color scheme can significantly impact the perception of space in your small living room. Opting for light, neutral shades like whites, creams, or pastels can help to reflect natural light, making the room appear larger and more open. You'll find that light colors give an illusion of spaciousness by blurring the boundaries between the walls and ceiling.

In contrast, avoid using dark hues as they tend to absorb light, making the room feel more enclosed. If you're a fan of bold colors, consider incorporating them in small doses, such as through accessories or a single accent wall.

When choosing a color scheme, it's also important to consider the flow of colors throughout your home. It's best to stick to a consistent color palette for a seamless transition from room to room, which can make your living space feel more expansive.

Lastly, don't overlook the color of your furniture and decor. Matching these to your wall color can create a sense of continuity, further enhancing the spaciousness. Remember, it's not just about picking colors you love, but also about how they can make your small living room look bigger.

Smart Use of Wall Spaces

After you've selected the perfect color scheme, it's time to turn your attention to how you're utilizing your wall spaces, as this too plays a significant role in creating the illusion of a larger room. Your walls aren't just for hanging pictures, they can be cleverly used to add depth and perspective.

Firstly, consider installing wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling bookcases. They make your ceiling seem higher and offer plenty of storage without taking up valuable floor space. Similarly, built-in shelves recessed into the wall can work wonders, giving the illusion of a more expansive room.

Secondly, think about using mirrors strategically. They reflect light and create an optical illusion of space. A large mirror, or an arrangement of smaller ones, can virtually double the room's size.

Lastly, don't ignore the magic of wall lighting. Wall sconces or over-the-mirror lights can add a warm, inviting glow without crowding the room with floor lamps or table lamps.

Selection of Decorative Elements

When it comes to picking decorative elements for your small living room, it's crucial to keep in mind that less is often more. You don't want to clutter the space with too many items, as this can make the room feel smaller and more cramped. Instead, opt for a few carefully selected pieces that can enhance the space without overwhelming it.

Choose furnishings with clean lines and light colours to create an open and airy feel. Use mirrors strategically to reflect light and make the room seem bigger. When it comes to artwork, go for one large piece rather than several small ones. This can create a focal point and draw the eye upward, giving the illusion of more space.

Avoid chunky, oversized furniture and opt for pieces with a smaller footprint. A glass coffee table, for example, can give the illusion of more floor space. Similarly, floor and table lamps can provide light without taking up too much space.

Utilizing Vertical Space

Maximizing your vertical space is a practical solution to making your small living room appear larger than it actually is. Don't let the area from floor to ceiling go to waste. Think upward and capitalize on the height of your room.

Start by hanging your curtains as high as possible. This draws the eye up and creates an illusion of height. Go for taller, slim furniture, like a bookshelf or an entertainment center that reaches up to your ceiling. It's not just functional, it's also a visual trick to elongate your room.

Next, consider wall-mounted shelves. They don't take up any floor space and provide extra storage or display areas. You can also hang artworks or mirrors high up on the wall. They reflect light and make your room look taller and more spacious.

Importance of Decluttering

Beyond making smart use of vertical space, keeping your living room free of unnecessary clutter can also significantly enhance the perception of space. It's crucial to understand that clutter not only makes a room feel disorganized but also smaller. Removing excess items and organizing your possessions can create a sense of order and spaciousness.

Start by identifying items you don't use or need. If it doesn't serve a purpose or bring you joy, it's time to let it go. You'll be surprised how much space you can free up by getting rid of unused items.

Next, invest in storage solutions that double as decor. For instance, a stylish ottoman can serve as a coffee table and a place to store blankets or magazines. Wall shelves or floating cabinets can hold books, picture frames, or decorative items, freeing up floor space.

Lastly, keep your surfaces clean. A coffee table covered in magazines, remotes, or dishes will visually shrink your room. A clean surface, however, will make your living room seem larger and more inviting.


In wrapping up, making your small living room look bigger isn't a daunting task. Just choose light-colored, raised-leg furniture and arrange it strategically. Use mirrors and lighting to create an illusion of space. Optimize wall and vertical spaces for storage and decor.

Remember, decluttering is key to maintaining a spacious feel. With these practical techniques, you'll easily achieve a room that's not only bigger in appearance, but also welcoming and well-organized.

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